GPS tracking is great for fleet management. Knowing exactly where all vehicles are at all times is a big boost to security. Good data analysis can flag inefficient or dangerous drivers. Generally, when drivers know they are being watched, they do a better job.
But that doesn’t mean drivers like, nor feel comfortable, being monitored.
In 1949, George Orwell’s dystopian novel, Nineteen Eighty-four, introduced the image of “Big Brother”—a shadowy, authoritarian figure who uses constant electronic surveillance to maintain absolute political control. Modern technology now makes such surveillance easy to capture. And for professional drivers working for an organization with a fleet of vehicles that incorporates a telematics system, fears of “Big Brother” may naturally occur. It is the responsibility of fleet managers to address and resolve those fears through a genuine respect for privacy, good communication, and clarifying the benefits of GPS tracking with drivers.
The best way to reassure drivers that they don’t work for Big Brother is to respect driver privacy. Clearly communicate the company policy regarding the GPS tracking system in the business as a smart tool to measure efficiency, and to help drivers be more productive. Furthermore, using company assets in the best interest of the business is key to ensuring employees are accountable for their actions. With GPS tracking software, fleet owners can share with drivers information regarding their areas of improvement, allowing drivers to make the most out of their daily tasks. Privacy is a sensitive subject. Being honest and open about maximizing the fleet’s resources with smart tools such as GPS tracking can enhance a driver’s work, rather than invade their privacy.
When employees are ill-informed about new integrations in the company’s business, it can be easy to quickly jump to conclusions. Introducing a new GPS tracking system does not need to be difficult. Fleet managers can ensure to clearly communicate what information is being collected by the system, how the vehicles are monitored, and why. Sharing reports generated by the system with drivers and other employees conveys transparency and honesty. It further opens understanding of the system’s purpose in the company and how the business is improving. Keep communication channels clear by responding to questions and concerns promptly.
Finally, it’s important to make clear that GPS tracking is not all about the business. The system actually works to a driver’s advantage when there are recordings of driver activity in the event of an accident, medical emergency, or crime. Fleet managers can use the data to support drivers if they are accused of wrongdoing by customers or an insurance company. Additionally, the system can be used to offer incentives including higher base pay, recognition, or bonuses to the best performing drivers.